Winding the window down she asked: "Do you know who I am? I'm the minister of state for education and you should be at school." One replied that his mother was penniless and he had to go out to work so that his family could eat. But the fascinating moral and political debate which ought to have followed was brutally truncated: the hooting of angry motorists meant the minister was forced to drive on.
Baroness Blackstone, the cerebral minister in charge of trying to bring drop-outs back to learning, had her own brush with disaffected youth. As her ministerial limousine stopped at traffic lights in north London, three young squeegee merchants started to clean the car windows. One of them looked about ten and the others were not much older.